When delivering web content to users, the two things that affect data transfer speed are bandwidth and latency. Bandwidth problems can easily be fixed by throwing money at the problem, but latency is a harder beast to fight. While the primary limitation is imposed by the speed of light, common household modems in use today also have a big role to play, and the numbers aren’t pretty.
Improvements in technology give us more bandwidth and lower latency, but the trend over the last 20 years has shown that improvements in bandwidth are about 30x more than improvements in latency.
Find out what typical latency numbers are, what the limits are, what that means for your web apps, and what you can do to reduce its effect.
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